Williams-Sonoma is embroiled in a contentious trade secret theft case with its former executive and direct competitor. On June 18, 2015, a federal district court in Tennessee granted a preliminary injunction motion to enjoin Williams-Sonoma’s former vice president and direct competitor from using confidential business information, soliciting Williams-Sonoma employees, and destroying electronic evidence. But the federal court refused to give Williams-Sonoma everything it requested.
Cyber-security and data breaches are hot-button issues that recently received some well-deserved attention from the federal government.
The federal district for the Western District of Louisiana added to the growing list of decisions that have applied Louisiana’s non-compete statute to invalidate choice-of-law or forum-selection clauses. These decisions have struck down clauses that, on their faces, would have required Louisiana employees of non-Louisiana employers to litigate under the law or in the courts of some other state. The decisions should also serve as a reminder that employers should not take a one-size-fits-all approach when drafting non-competes for employees residing in multiple states.
We previously analyzed a Pennsylvania appellate court decision, which held that a non-compete agreement was unenforceable for lack of consideration. The case, Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc., is now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
A recent Florida appellate court decision may alter 200px-Florida-StateSeal.svglong-standing prohibitions against non-compete agreements for certain professionals. In AmSurg New Port Richey FL Inc. v. Vangara, the court upheld a non-compete, finding that it prohibited a physician from operating a rival business—but not from practicing medicine. This was the pivotal distinction for saving the non-compete, and other state courts could adopt this same logic.
The recent decision in Wellogix, Inc. v. SAP America, Inc., No. 14-0741 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 10, 2014), demonstrates that federal courts can rely on contractual forum selection clauses to dismiss or transfer trade secret theft cases. It’s a reminder to weigh how these clauses could impact litigation strategies and to consider the specific language negotiated during contract talks.
Picture this situation: your company is submitting a bid on a public contract, whether a technology acquisition, software development project, construction project, insurance quote, or financial services contract, to name but a few. Or picture responding to state and federal regulatory authorities that require disclosing company information concerning approval and licensing of your gaming establishment or approval of your oil and gas exploration project. Then also picture a legal framework that requires governmental agencies, whether state or federal, to disclose public records to all who ask—even competitors.
A Louisiana appellate court recently decided that a non-competition agreement was unenforceable. But not because it contained unreasonable geographic or temporal restrictions or failed to strictly comply with Louisiana’s non-compete statute. Instead, the court found that the non-competition obligations had already expired during employment.
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans recently held that an employer’s policy for protecting its confidential and proprietary information was unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Perhaps the most significant of the employment law bills passed by the Louisiana Legislature this year is the “Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act” signed into by Governor Jindal on May 23, 2014.
The Louisiana legislature recently passed two laws aimed at immigration compliance which have the effect of: (1) requiring employers and subcontractors that do business with the State to use E-Verify; and (2) giving employers that are not required to use E-Verify a â€œsafe harborâ€ from immigration penalties if they choose to use E-Verify. Both bills were signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal on July 6th, 2011, and will take effect on August 15th, 2011. So Louisiana employers have a little less than a month to prepare for compliance.
Recent harassment cases should serve as a warning to employers regarding the effectiveness of their harassment policies, especially in hostile work environment cases.
The Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Democrat’s loss of their supermajority in the Senate may have the financial industry looking for better times ahead, but don’t break out the champagne yet. To be sure, the Administration’s legislative agenda has been dealt a serious blow. As the President himself confessed on election day, “My whole agenda is at risk.” Based on the outcome, it might be easy to conclude that the President’s agenda has been completely derailed; but that would be a mistake. To continue reading about the Republican takeover of the House, please click here.
Labor & Employment attorney H. Mark Adams has authored an article on the impact the recent general elections will have on Louisiana employers.
Because USCIS relies on fees paid by applicants and petitioners to cover the majority of its budget, the law requires a review of the fees and a determination as to whether the fees collected are sufficient to cover the Services budget every two years.